How to Choose a Budget and Stick With It

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Some of us travel often and some of us not at all, and although I am one to be categorized as a ‘frequent traveler,’ I still manage to fall way off my budget when it comes to traveling. In hopes to avoid this, I have created a 4 step plan in order to ensure I stick to my budget every time I go out and explore the world. Created for you and I, here they are:

Step 1: Pre-arrange your Budget

Before departure, make sure you have pre-arranged a budget you plan to spend while away on your vacation. By pre-planning what you are hoping to spend, this will allow you to stay on track (or at least more so than without a budget plan). Try not to be too stiff with your budget and always factor in emergency situations on the side. If you have your emergency funds left at the end of the trip, this is the time to have fun with it, go back to the shop where you wanted that beautiful dress and splurge. It is so important to keep this emergency fund on the side through the duration of your entire trip as you never know when things may go wrong.

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Step 2: Withdrawal Only What you Budget For

So you’ve planned your budget and included your emergency funds, now it’s time to withdrawal your money. As a frequent traveler, I find it easiest to simply withdrawal my money upon arrival at an ATM, however some prefer to bring the cash with them from home – both work well! What happens when I don’t withdrawal the full amount and require money mid-trip? I pull out the credit card for smaller purchases and end up going on a shopping frenzy – not a great idea!

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Step 3: Pack 2 Wallets [1 for travel, 1 for everyday]

You’ve withdrawn all the cash you will need for your trip but don’t forget that when carrying a lot of cash with you at once, you can set yourself up for a very dangerous situation. Make sure you pack two different wallets. One of your wallets will contain the majority of your cash fund, along with your passport, travel identification and any other important documents. This wallet will be kept safe in your hotel room. Wallet number two will be for everyday use and will contain only the funds you will require for the day out (this will ensure you won’t go over budget).

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Step 4: Pre-plan Each Day with Costs Included

Now you need to figure out how much you would like to take out with you on a daily basis. A great way to plan this is to simply divide your cash by the number of travel days, or I often plan to spend less during the weekdays and splurge a little more on weekends out. This money will remain in your travel wallet until you require it for day travel. Carrying small amounts of money is a safe way to travel in case you are ever pick pocketed.

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Bonus Tip: Shop at local grocers before diving into the full restaurant experience to help save your budget if you’ve fallen off track.

I don’t always follow the entire 4 step plan, we all make mistakes. When this is the case, I use my fall back plan and bonus tip to help me keep up with my budget. If you’ve fallen low on funds one day, it is important to take it back from one of the days ahead. Instead of going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, take a trip to the local grocers and buy some cheaper affordable meals you can eat in your hotel or on the road.

A proven fail-proof plan for myself and hopefully for you as well, jot these notes down, keep them in mind when traveling and try to enjoy the challenge of a budget. Many destinations are overpriced within tourist areas, but there will always be that secret way around having a fantastic vacation on an incredible budget!

Enjoy!

About the Author: Jenna Davis

I am a 20-something Canadian travel blogger whose home address is as unknown as the next destination I will be visiting. I run my own travel blog at www.giveforgranted.com with a focus on affordable travel and unique experiences. Helping keep our true north strong and free, I have also developed a non-profit organization which supports northern Canadians living in poverty. Give for Granted.

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